HIV attacks and destroys the infection-fighting CD4 cells of the immune system. Loss of CD4 cells makes it hard for the body to fight off infections.
HIV medicines prevent HIV from multiplying (making copies of itself), which reduces the amount of HIV in the body. Having less HIV in the body gives the immune system a chance to recover. Even though there is still some HIV in the body, the immune system is strong enough to fight off infections and cancers.
By reducing the amount of HIV in the body, HIV medicines also reduce the risk of HIV transmission to sexual partners.
Antiretroviral therapy (ART) is the use of HIV medicines to treat HIV infection. ART involves taking a combination of HIV medicines (called an HIV regimen) every day. ART is recommended for everyone with HIV. ART can’t cure HIV, but it helps people with HIV live longer, healthier lives.
Below are resources that list the various approved therapies and treatment guidelines for HIV/AIDS.